How are technology leaders helping their organizations adapt to the accelerating change and complexity that mark today's competitive and economic landscape?
To find out, we spoke in person with 622 CIOs from midsize organizations around the world. These in-person conversations, along with our statistical analyses of responses, underscore the evermore essential role of the CIO.
CIOs increasingly help their organizations cope with complexity by simplifying operations, business processes, products and services. To increase competitiveness, 83 percent of midmarket CIOs have visionary plans that include business intelligence and analytics, followed by mobility solutions (72 percent) and virtualization (67 percent).
When asked where they would focus IT to help their organization realize its strategic vision, the newest ranking by CIOs echoed the areas CEOs identified in our 2010 study - insight and intelligence, people skills, and getting closer to customers.
Where the paths diverge: The CIO Mandate
Perhaps the most useful insight to emerge from this study, however, is not what makes CIOs the same, but what makes them different. The primary differences among the CIOs we spoke with lie in their organizations' business needs and goals, and how CIOs can achieve those goals through business and information technology.
CIOs everywhere spend at least part of their time on IT fundamentals. Beyond managing the prerequisites, our research identified four distinct "CIO Mandates." These mandates come with distinct characteristics that align with the organization's strategy. The most successful CIOs are those who understand the goals of their organization, how those goals define their specific mandate, and what their organization expects of IT leadership as a result.
The CIO Mandates
What are the different contexts in which today's CIOs operate? How can CIOs excel by delivering results against their organizations' business priorities? In a rapidly changing world where technology is a critical enabler of business success, which actions enable CIOs to have the most impact?
Find out how CIOs are optimizing information technologies like cloud computing, business analytics and mobile computing to keep pace with the fast-changing marketplace on behalf of their organizations in The Essential CIO: Midmarket Insights from the Global Chief Information Officer Study.
The 2011 CIO Study is part of the IBM C-Suite Study Series. Published by the IBM Institute for Business Value, the C-Suite Study Series publishes in-depth studies that focus on Chief Executive Officers, Chief Finance Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers and, most recently, Chief Supply Chain Officers.
For more information, visit www.ibm.com/theessentialcio